Monday, December 24, 2007

Spicy Christmas Shortbread

Merry Christmas to all! Here's a Christmas favorite that has become part of our holiday traditions. If you want to bake a little something that will make your house smell like Christmas, and tastes great--here it is!
Spicy Christmas Shortbread
2 sticks (1 cup) butter at room temperature
1 cup packed brown sugar
1-2 tablespoons grated orange peel (optional)
2 tablespoons ground ginger
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups flour
pinch of granulated sugar
1. Preheat oven to 325. Have two 8-9 inch round cake pans ready (do not need to grease).
2. In a large bowl, beat butter, brown sugar, orange peel, spices and baking soda with mixer or by hand, until fluffy. Gradually add flour, beating until just blended.
3. Divide dough in half and press evenly over bottom of ungreased pans. Sprinkle dough with sugar.
4. Bake 25-30 minutes until tops look dry and edges are slightly higher than centers.
5. Cool in pans on wire rack for 5 minutes. Cut while still warm. Store airtight up to two weeks (if it lasts that long) or freeze.
Tastes delicious warm or cool. When warm, melts in your mouth. When cool, it's wonderfully crunchy.

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